Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Millennium Bridge - London

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge across the Thames connecting the Tate Modern Gallery and St. Paul's Cathedral. Construction began in 1998, and the bridge was opened in June 2000. The design of the bridge was the result of a competition organized in 1996 by Southwark council. The winning entry was an innovative "blade of light" effort from Arup, Foster and Partners and Sir Anthony Caro.

Londoners nicknamed the bridge the "wobbly bridge" after crowds of pedestrians felt an unexpected swaying motion on the first two days after the bridge opened. The bridge was closed and modified, and further modifications eliminated the wobble entirely.

The southern end of the bridge is near Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery and Tate Modern, the north end next to the City of London School below St Paul's Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St Paul's south facade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports, thus providing a scenic view of the cathedral. Perhaps the best view of the bridge itself is from a restaurant inside the Tate Modern.

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